Since its advent in the 1980s, each Leadership Lafayette class has taken on projects to improve local life. This year's 23-member class, which graduated earlier this month, focused on hunger, heritage and health.
One group created "Backpacks for Kids," a bag full of healthy foods for Boys and Girls Club members to take home on Fridays during the summer.
"They were not just healthy foods; they were foods that the kids could prepare for themselves if their parents were working and couldn't be there to cook for them," said Christy Grice, club director. "I think it was a tremendous help."
Other members restored the east lawn of Faulkner's home and developed an endowment for the mansion's gardens.
One story about the lawn that has circulated for years is that Faulkner and his wife, Estelle, were relaxing in this area one August day when she marveled aloud at the uniqueness of the late-summer light, giving her husband the name for his next novel, "Light in August."
The "Lawn in August" team's work included replacing sod, planting azaleas and restoring both the gazebo and the grape arbor.
Yet another group focused on creating www.healthyoxfordms .com, whose offerings include information on bike trails, races, Oxford Parks Commission sports information and other active options.
The site also identifies some of the healthier menu choices at popular restaurants.
"It started out with healthy menu options," said Hayden Hiter, Oxford Conference Center's events sales manager, who served on that team. "But then we decided it shouldn't be just about food, but that it should be about a healthy lifestyle."
Mary-Kathryn Millner, marketing and tourism director for the Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau, was the 2010 Leadership Lafayette chairwoman.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.